Fall 2019

From Kim Albright:  I’m finishing up my second year of retirement.  I look at it as a second liberal arts degree, self-designed.  I’ve been reading a lot, going to lots of lectures and concerts, traveling, taking courses (German and Taoism) and trying new things, e.g. East Asian brush painting.  My husband and I had a wonderful trip last June with Smith Travel to the Baltic Sea area, with my Lamont roommate Julie Stiles and her husband.  There were 9 lecturers – it was like a floating seminar on the history and culture of that region.  This is the end of my ‘sophomore year.  I hope to explore fewer things in more depth in my ‘junior year!’

Carol S Ball, ’73 reported that Cathy Axon Elder died this Spring as a result of a fall in her home.  Cathy’s first career was as a librarian (she later got a business degree and changed careers) and she worked at Smith after graduation, living in Northampton with her husband Tom Elder, who was on the Theater Department faculty.  Cathy is survived by husband Tom and son Adam.

Ivy Eberhart Bannister invites classmates to call if they are in Dublin.  She  and husband Frank continue to divide their time between Dublin, Ireland, a pied a terre in New York City where Ivy grew up, lots of other travels (frequent trips to London, where one of their sons lives, and to Kerry, Ireland – paradise on earth,  and more exotic locations like Abu Dhabi and Oman.  Recently Ivy got together in New York with Jess Tava (Class of 1973), and she invites all classmates who are visiting Dublin to get in touch.

Cynthia Bearer still loves her work, not even contemplating retiring, having such a great time at her job!  “My job is currently divided up into Editor-in-Chief of a major pediatric research journal, my own laboratory based research, research into developing a new Disease Ontology, administrating 1 Level IV, 2 Level III and 2 Level II NICUs, and continuing my clinical care for small sick newborns.  My son graduated from Middlebury College and is off to Hawaii before grad school in marine biohabitat restoration.  He also helps me with my statistics in some of my research so we are now published co-authors.

From Elaine Bromka: Big doings in our family: daughter Julia Phillips has her debut novel, “Disappearing Earth”, a mystery novel set beyond Siberia, rolling out from Knopf May 14, kicking off a 20-city book tour.  Would love to connect with Smithies around the country!  Dates and towns: http://www.juliaphillipswrites.com/events.html

Alicia Edelberg is getting very excited about our upcoming 50th:

Reaching out to my Morris House classmates makes me realize how fond of them I was.

I worked as a violinist with the New York City Opera for 34 years. My husband, also a violinist, worked with the Metropolitan Opera for 34 years. The early days were very romantic- meeting at the Lincoln Center fountain between performances. The City Opera folded in 2013, leaving me prematurely retired. I still freelance and do some teaching. But the freedom of retirement is heaven!  I dig in the yard ( you can’t really call it gardening), watch birds, play music with both professional and amateur friends, and cook with my husband.  No complaints.

The most exciting event in our near future is the marriage of our younger daughter Laura. There will be two other alums there- Martha Edelberg Bogan ‘74 and Claire Segal 67.

On a sad note, Cathy Axon Elder died in March from a fall down unlit stairs. Careful everybody.

See you at reunion.

Diane Francis retired from teaching high school chemistry in 2009, and is now teaching piano to students of all ages.  She stays busy with taking dance aerobics class 4 times per week, and walking her rescue American cocker spaniel.  Once per week, she takes a lesson in music theory.  My husband, Carl is busy at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel, ME, which will open for business in July 2019. Both of our daughters are grown and married, and we are grandparents to 4 children.

Claire Hamlisch and her husband live much of the year in southern France in a tiny village surrounded by lavender fields, good wine, olives, and apricots.  The rest of the time, she lives in Denmark where her husband was born.  She explains:  “We settled in France because we were based in the UN in Geneva and took week-end trips to the south of France and window-shopped glorious houses.  Denmark came because we needed a place to store our winter wardrobe; we eventually moved to a house with a garden to accommodate all our pets. 

Per our class survey of 2017, there are a lot more of us living outside the US just now – under Bush I was reluctant to admit to being American; with Obama it felt good; and now I can barely contain my shame.”

Patricia Pelehach started something new: She and her husband bought a derelict storefront in historic Corsicana, 60 miles south of Dallas, and renovated it as their art studios with exhibition space in front serving as a private gallery for pop-up exhibitions.

Ann Chipley Playe sent this note: 

My husband and I became grandparents for the second time when our daughter Eden, newly remarried after 6 1/2 years as a widow, gave birth to Zora who has brought all of us, especially her 7 year old brother Max, great joy. Grandma and Grandpa Playe are each still working part time at paying jobs but also full time five days a week as granny and grampy nanny to Zora. Of course, we had forgotten how tiring it is to take care of a baby because at 7, big brother Max is quite easy.  So, for the foreseeable future, we are in Chicago, renting the apartment just above our daughter’s condo and thinking of our house in Florida as the “vacation” house. My husband Steve plans to retire from medicine at the end of this year but I am still loving working as a consultant for College Karma with Sally Rubenstone, ’73. We are looking forward to a May visit from fellow Smithies Alana Northrop, ’71 and Sally Peterson Lawrence, ’72, who are coming with spouses from opposite coasts to enjoy some Chicago time during one of the few good weather months.

Ellen Strober ’60 sent this sad news of her neighbor (our ’72 classmate) Catherine Axon Elder:

Cathy died suddenly on March 26 after a fall at her home in Kennett Square, Pa. She is survived by her husband, Tom, and son Adam. Cathy was truly the pillar of her community, Cartmel, where she was past president of the Residents’ Association, and ran our book club and web site. She was on our Choices committee, bluebird patrol, and was an avid gardener. She volunteered at Longwood Gardens and the Kennett Square Library. We are all in shock to have lost someone so young and vibrant.  Please contact husband Tom for details at Cathyelder@yahoo.com

Cheryl Suchors sent a progress report on her memoir:

I’m thrilled to announce that my memoir, 48 PEAKS, Hiking and Healing in the White Mountains, just won a Silver Award from the Independent Publishers (IPPYs) ! Though no bestseller for sure, the book has done well enough to require a reprinting after only six months.

Miranda Catsambas ’19, Clauda Vess ’72, Cheryl Suchors ’72, Corrian Sowden ’07, Therese Salus -78

I’m still bustling around giving readings and talks about my book. In April alone, I gave presentations in Brooklyn, NY; Hyannis, MA; North Reading, MA; and Billerica, MA. Here’s a fun picture of members of the DC Smith Club who came out to support my reading at Busboys & Poets Bookstore in Washington, DC in March. You may recognize classmate Claudia Vess to my left (I’m the short one in the middle.) (See photo showing Miranda Catsambas’19, Claudia Vess’72, author Cheryl Suchors’72, Corrina Sowden’07, Theresa Salus’78)

If you’ve read the book and like it, please write a two-sentence review on Amazon, with a bunch of stars. It doesn’t have to be poetry, folks, just a thought or two about what you enjoyed. You don’t have to have bought the book from Amazon, and you don’t have to use your real name if you prefer to go incognita.  I’d greatly appreciate it!

Sec. Stefanie Solnick Cargill, 1224 E. La Jolla Drive, Tempe, Arizona  85282, rhpt70@cox.net.